I have been thinking A LOT about my pregnancy.
Probably because it’s been 9 swell months since my baby left my body and arrived in my arms. This may sound like an ordinary, perhaps even time worn phrase, but for us the journey to our boy was so unexpected…. and mind blowingly miraculous. It was a ‘here’ that I hadn’t imagined (for the past decade) and it felt as real as it did surreal.
It seems that so often, perspective and extra depth is found at the other end of reflection and we say “if only I could just go back and be a little more mindful or present in that instance.” Photos and videos can bring on these brooding moments as we enjoy a cup of tea with nostalgia and allow our feelings and memories to merge further. It’s wonderful to remember but it’s even better to commit the actual moment to memory… and I truly did not underestimate the magnitude of what was happening for one of those single moments.
If my expectant, growing tummy could have symbolised one overriding emotion it would have been gratitude. But that is if I had to pick only one. There was also ~ wonder* awe* excitement* honour* delight* and a similar feeling to ‘borrowed time’. I was mercifully presented with a little bonus blue package which exceeded my expectations, especially since circumstances crudely shouted out that we should not have been parents of one, let alone two beautiful children.
When we got married our minds & hearts conceived approximately three fabulous kids. That was before we got a phone call with news that no young married couple ever wants to hear. And then seven years after, with much processing, trusting, hoping, praying and simply just waiting, we got another phone call that wiped all of our tears away, in one final sob of joy! Adopting our daughter was our imagined summit… we’d climbed the mountain with God and He had given us the worlds most incredible little girl to love and raise. Our initial five-man family plans were nothing compared to the joy that our little girl instantly brought into our lives and to all who had loved, cried and waited it out with us. We now proudly carried the banner of family.
Then we found out that the summit was wider than expected as I was gifted this rare, if not seemingly far-fetched chance to have a perfect little human grow within me. God gave us a son. That this was even possibly possible, still blows my mind! It all moved as fast as I do when I fly in my dreams, except for that last pregnant month of course. That last month felt like a year plus a bonus week for good incubating measure!! And then there was the time that I landed up in hospital at 23 weeks with fake contractions – that part was also made for snails – and for another post.
I’m pretty sure this will be my one and only, my first and last pregnant escapade.
It wasn’t always easy, but I did welcome every well meaning stranger who asked me questions, smiled with encouragement, reached out to invade my belly space and offered to carry my bags. I had to tell myself to not feel guilty at a week shy of 9 months when given license to jump the home affairs visa queue – what a rush! I felt amused (on more than one occasion) whilst either accidentally hooting or turning the windscreen wipers on as i traversed the escarpment from my passenger seat…. because even the worlds best David-Copperfield-watermelon-pretzel move was not going to make the space between the drivers seat and the car next to me, shrink! And altho the manoeuvre felt about as long as that sentence did, I loved the reason for my workaround. I loved that it was all because i was protecting and carrying my boy into this world! Catching glimpses of my growing bump in shop windows and spatially misjudging furniture surprised me every time. I loved hugging some (make that 5) of my favourite girlfriends from metres away because our combined baby bellies were doing the real embracing. My horizontal post dinner pose would often bring on the best little butterfly kicks… I think I miss those the most.
I remember sending my husband on life altering sprints across forests with our daughter on his shoulders, to bring the car closer than the bear hug that my baby was avidly giving my bladder. Fortunately I was able to ‘fairly’ cheerfully embrace only a mild case of nausea, as I knew this was a sign that my baby was in there, before I could see or feel him. I even loved turning down that eat as much as you’d like sushi and oyster buffet when we were on holiday….. NOT! Unfortunately being green around the gills wasn’t reserved for my favourite – all things seafood! But hey… I did it and it was worth the small ‘no’ because I was celebrating a much bigger ‘YES’!
At the time, to passers by, we looked like your average suburban family…one toddler and another perfectly timed one on the way. People would ask what I was having and then exclaim, “oh wow a pigeon pair, well done”!! As if we had anything to do with it. Do we ever? There is only one way that we are family today and that is thro God’s grace. We are living out the words to His story for our lives. Initially it looked a bit too different & difficult for me to want to play the role… but today I can safely say that our story is my favourite story! We certainly are no ordinary family and I love that!
Gratitude. Every day.
I’m writing so I don’t forget.